here’s a new exhibition and companion book to celebrate iconic architect and designer Gio Ponti. Promoted by ceramics manufacturer La Ceramica Francesco De Maio, Gio Ponti: Infinito Blu is at the Triennale Design Museum, Milan from the 9th February to the 5th March 2017. This exhibition revolves around the much celebrated Blu Ponti majolica tiles, especially designed for the Hotel Parco dei Principi in Sorrento, southern Italy.
“Give to someone a 20 by 20 square and – although through the centuries they have gone crazy with infinite designs – there’s always room for a new design – for your own design…there will never be a final design…” Gio Ponti said. La Ceramica Francesco De Maio is a renowned ceramics firm from Nocera Superiore, Salerno, southern Italy, licensed to reproduce Blu Ponti majolica tiles. This exhibition puts on display around 100 different versions, which the Milanese architect designed for the Hotel Parco dei Principi in Sorrento, widely acknowledged as an architectural masterpiece of the twentieth century.
The display includes: a mix of different materials, a careful balance of different shapes, unreleased photographs by Gio Ponti at work with a team of craftsmen, sketches, plates and water colours of his first colour samples. Without a doubt, highlight of the entire exhibition are the complete series 27 different majolica tiles especially designed for the hotel, over 5 unreleased patterns and a further decoration found in the ex Ceramica D’Agostino archives (now owned by Ceramica Francesco De Maio).
Curated by Aldo Colonetti and Patrizia Famiglietti in partnership with Salvatore Licitra, the exhibition is also accompanied by a book which illustrates Gio Ponti’s striking modern style. Gio Ponti was an expert at using different techniques together. In fact, he was a strong advocate for making everything by hand, because just as he used to say “you cannot make anything which you haven’t held in your hands first”.
It’s only in this way that colour and design give each other life, without ever consuming one other. Gio Ponti: L’Infinito Blu shows this precisely. In fact, you can invent a new decor simply by turning it by 90°, and a new one by turning it again, and so on...
Gio Ponti: L’Infinito Blu takes us through a succession of lines, squares, flowers and pointed shapes, which change and evolve in infinite decorations and patterns. And once again, Gio Ponti’s modern style astounds us with its striking simplicity.
Where: Triennale di Milano, 6 viale Alemagna, Milan, Italy
When: 10 February - 5 March 2017